What do you do when your child is diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder? For many parents this is when they set out on the ‘information gathering journey’ and to find support from other parents.
Sarah Alderson, from Morecambe UK, chose to offer support and share information that she had found when her son Elliot, now aged 4, was diagnosed with ASD, developmental delay and hypermobility just before his third birthday. Sarah who also has two other children, Jessica aged 11 and Oliver aged 8, wanted to share her knowledge and offer support as well as raising awareness about Autism Spectrum Conditions.
Sarah initially set up a local support group on Facebook to support local parents of disabled children in the Lancaster and Morecambe area. Recently she has set up a community page on Facebook. Autism Storms and Rainbows‘ both supports and provides an online community for parents from all around the world who have children on the autistic spectrum.
Talking exclusively to Autism Daily Newscast Sarah shared with us :
“The reason I set up the community page was that I felt so very passionate about autism awareness and autism acceptance. I have had so many messages of encouragement from all over the world with parents telling me of what a huge difference the page has made to their lives.”
Sarah is also an active autism advocate in her local community and has recently devised and is in the process of distributing autism awareness ‘Red Flag’ and early intervention posters to education providers, doctor’s surgeries, nurseries and Children’s Centres. Sarah explained that she “loves creating her own awareness and early intervention posters and that the’ Red Flag’ poster (which shows the early warning signs to look out for) has reached over 40,000 people all over the world.
Sarah has also gained the support from Lancaster City Council who told Sarah they “would happily distribute any posters to…swimming pools, parks, sports centres and other council venues”. Sarah has also had support from Hearts and Minds Challenge Charity, “a young dynamic, innovative and passionate organisation formed in 2010 which is bringing positive change into the lives of those affected by autism”. The Golden Hat Foundation has also shown an interest in Sarah’s autism awareness posters. Autism Daily Newscast first reported on The Golden Hat Foundation with the review of the documentary “A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism”. Their mission statement is as follows,
“The mission of the Golden Hat Foundation is to eliminate barriers for people with autism around the world and create an environment that holds these individuals as intellectually capable. When given the means to communicate effectively and an academic education, people with autism can truly realize their dreams.”
Sarah’s autism ‘Red Flag’ posters and other awareness posters can be downloaded from Autism Storms and Rainbows